Co-Founder Mark X. Cronin Contributes Forward and Chapter to Down Syndrome Stories Audiobook

David Hirsch, director of the Special Father’s Network, has created a moving and insightful audiobook called Down Syndrome Stories. The book is based on the interviews conducted for the Special Fathers Network and features both an interview and a forward from Mark X. Cronin, the co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks.

John and Mark X. Cronin 

This profoundly human audio book captures the experiences of a broad range of fathers raising a child with Down syndrome. You hear their joys, struggles, revelations, and the lessons learned on the journey. These fathers share a similar story yet demonstrate how varied their paths can be. 

“I listen to the stories in this book and marvel at the wisdom and strength of these fathers, the journeys they have taken to raise and support their children and their families,” said Mark. 

John and Mark of John's Crazy Socks

By being vulnerable, these fathers reveal great strength and insights. Their very personal stories become universal in the journey that fathers and mothers take in raising their children. The stories are full of inspiration as well as cautionary tales. 

David Hirsch, the co-founder of the Special Father’s Network, organized the book as an outgrowth of the SFN mission. David said, “We want other fathers to hear these stories, to know they are not alone, to offer them support and encouragement.” 

Mark Cronin said, “John’s birth and the diagnosis of Down syndrome had us adrift, uncertain of what to do and what the future may hold. Speaking to other parents provided great comfort for my wife and I and helped us gain our footing and find the best path forward. We were so appreciative of what others offered us by sharing their stories. That is why it is so important for my wife and I to offer our support, to help and sometimes just listen to other parents with a child with Down syndrome.” 

John's Crazy Socks Co-Founder Mark X. Cronin

You can listen to a sample of the audiobook or download Down Syndrome Stories by clicking here

About the Special Father’s Network 

SFN is a dad-to-dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs. Many of the 500+ SFN mentor fathers, who all are raising kids with special needs, have said: "I wish there was something like this when we first received our child's diagnosis. I felt so isolated. There was no one within my family, at work, at church, or within my friend group who understood or could relate to what I was going through." 

SFN mentor fathers share their experiences with younger dads closer to the beginning of their journey raising a child with the same or similar special needs. The SFN mentor fathers do not offer legal or medical advice; that is what lawyers and doctors do. They simply share their experiences and how they have made the most of challenging situations. 

You can visit their website to learn more about the SFN and to contact them.

About John’s Crazy Socks 

John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $500,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.

For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at